Genocide: EALA Speaker blames United Nations

Genocide survivors, local and central government officials as well as lawmakers from East African Legislative Assembly, on Thursday, blamed the United Nations for the failure of its mission – United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) – to protect Rwandans during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.
Mourners participate in a ‘Walk to Remember’ the victims of the 994 Genocide in Kicukiro.   SaturdayTimes/ Timothy Kisambira.
Mourners participate in a ‘Walk to Remember’ the victims of the 994 Genocide in Kicukiro. SaturdayTimes/ Timothy Kisambira.

Genocide survivors, local and central government officials as well as lawmakers from East African Legislative Assembly, on Thursday, blamed the United Nations for the failure of its mission – United Nations Assistance Mission for Rwanda (UNAMIR) – to protect Rwandans during the 1994 Genocide against the Tutsi.

Mourners castigated UNAMIR’s attitude, which they said contradicted their mission of peacekeeping during the 19th commemoration of the Genocide against the Tutsi at the Nyanza-Kicukiro Genocide Memorial Site.

Over 4,000 Tutsis were killed at this spot after the UN ‘peacekeepers’ abandoned them in the hands of the Interahamwe militia on April 11, 1994.

In a message of “comfort, condolences and courage,” EALA Speaker, Margaret Nantongo Zziwa, told thousands of mourners at Nyanza that she was saddened that the custodians of peace [UN] failed to protect Tutsi from the killings.

Zziwa, who is in the country an EALA session, assured the mourners that during the special summit at that opened yesterday, they will pass a resolution to condemn what the Genocide perpetrators did.

“We express our disappointment in the UN for having abandoned our people,” she said.

The head of the small UN peacekeeping force in Rwanda at the time, Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire, has also previously said that no UN official was interested in saving Rwandans, the reason why the bulk of his force was ordered to leave.

One of the survivors, Ernest Maniraho, who was seven years old during the Genocide, recalled how the UN peacekeepers packed their luggage and dogs and left them at the former Kicukiro Technical School (ETO Kicukiro).

The Interahamwe later killed the Tutsi as they led them to Nyabarongo with an aim to dump the victims in the river.

The Minister of Sports and Culture, Protais Mitali condemned the indifference of the UN before, during and after the Genocide against the Tutsi.

Advocate for tribunal archives


“They could not do anything to prevent the Genocide from happening, they abandoned the Tutsi when it happened and they are now spreading false accusations that the country is causing the unrest in eastern DR Congo,” he said. “It is shame; portraying this attitude after all they did to the country.” 

The minister also castigated the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) for acquitting Genocide perpetrators like ex-ministers Prosper Mugiraneza and Justin Mugenzi.

He asked EALA to advocate for Rwanda to be allowed to host the tribunal’s archives.

Mourners were pleased that, despite the indifference of international community, Rwanda is now contributing to peacekeeping missions.

The president of Ibuka, Dr Jean Pierre Dusingizemungu, said the mechanisms that support the Genocide survivors. He gave an example of the government support fund FARG, which gave scholarships to 9,000 survivor university students last year.

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